Archive for 2007

Dealing in Vegas

Dec 05, 2007 in Baseball

Will Carroll:

Umm, Vegas anyone? You know, the Bellagio is the site of next year’s Winter Meetings.

As of right now, it seems like any Johan Santana trade is on hold and may not be completed by the end of the GM Meetings in Nashville. As Will points out, next year’s meeting in in Las Vegas.

I give it a 17% chance that The Sands will end up owning an All-Star caliber player after one baseball’s more mediocre GMs uses him as collateral at the roulette table.

links for 2007-12-04

Dec 04, 2007 in Links

Automating the Amazon MP3 Downloader

Dec 02, 2007 in AppleScript

It’s Amazon day at raoli.com, as I finally got around to trying Amazon MP3 and the Amazon MP3 Downloader app. At first, I wasn’t seeing the downloader launch automatically, then it dawned on me that said behavior was probably tied to Safari’s Open “safe” files after downloading preference.1

Between security concerns and general annoyance, I’d turned this feature off some time ago. In Amazon’s case, I actually wanted this functionality. A short AppleScript later and I had a working solution.

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
    repeat with item_ in added_items
        tell application "Finder"

            if name extension of item_ is "amz" then
                open item_
            end if

        end tell
    end repeat
end adding folder items to

Save the script to ~/Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts/. In the Finder, navigate to your downloads folder, select Attach a Folder Action… from the contextual menu, and locate your newly saved script in the resulting file selection dialog. Now, whenever you download a new amz file from Amazon MP3, the Amazon MP3 Downloader will launch. Nothing earth-shattering, but I found that it improved the shopping experience.

Should you at some point activate the Open safe files… option in Safari, I’d recommend disabling this folder action. I haven’t done any testing, so I don’t know how well using both would or would not work.

  1. Yeah, putting “safe” in quotes sounds really reassuring.

Vaguely Absurd

Dec 02, 2007 in Gadgets, iPod

BestSellers.pngI was popping around Amazon this afternoon and I decided to check out the best sellers list for MP3 players. At just after 4PM, the silver 4GB Nano was the top selling device. The black 8GB Nano came in at #2. In the top ten, iPods also filled slots 4-9.1

All told, 14 of the top 25 best selling MP3 players were iPods. There are only (only?, eh) 17 iPod variants and the Product (Red) versions are only available through Apple. Plainly, the silver 160 GB Classic is not carrying its own weight. Something must be done about this. Retribution will be swift and fierce.

As of 4PM on December 2nd, 14 of the 15 current generation iPods sold on Amazon were in their top 25 best selling MP3 players, at least. The Amazon best seller list may not be the most scientific of measures but, damn, that’s vaguely absurd.

  1. Yeah, these are all affiliate links. I didn’t conceive of this post to go affiliate farming; I was actually curious about the status of the best sellers list and amused by the iPod’s complete dominance.

links for 2007-11-27

Nov 27, 2007 in Links

Switching To Atom

Nov 18, 2007 in Site

I’ve configured Feedburner to use an Atom feed in place of the old RSS feed. With the Atom feed, I’ve found that NetNewsWire properly handles the footnote links I use in some articles (clicking on a footnote in the Atom feed scrolls to the footnote while doing the same in the RSS feed loads a new tab). I probably could’ve reconfigured the RSS feed to accomplish the same, but I took what seemed like the path of least resistance.

Let me know if anything seems horribly broken.

links for 2007-11-14

Nov 14, 2007 in Links

Dustin Pedroia: Rookie of the Year

Nov 12, 2007 in Baseball, Red Sox, Sports

From the “News that Should Surprise Nobody Outside of Tampa” department comes word that Dustin Pedroia was named 2007 AL Rookie of the Year. Pedroia took home 24 of 28 first place ballots and placed second on the remaining 4 ballots.

After a slow April, Pedroia showed why the Red Sox front office considered Mark Loretta expendable following the 2006 season. From May through the end of the season, his monthly batting average dropped below .300 only once (.299 in July). It was the month of May where Pedroia’s batting skills really shown — perhaps more impressive than .415 batting average was his bat control. During the month of May, Pedroia swung and missed at a grand total of 4 pitches.1

Not to gush excessively, but the end of his year was also quite impressive in light of the fact that he was playing with a broken hamate bone since at least September 10th.

Beyond the statistics, Pedroia quickly became one of these players who’s generally considered a pain in the ass… unless plays for your favorite team, in which case he’s a gritty ballplayer. From all appearances, his teammates and coaches at least found humor in his attitude towards the game and his play.2

In addition to winning over his teammates, Pedroia’s play and outspoken attitude (and, to some degree, his short stature) won over the fans in Boston. By the end of the year, you’d be hard pressed to find anybody wasn’t preaching patience during his April struggles.


Although the Sox were in the hunt for the World Championship, the fans still managed to get a potential glimpse of the future in September and October, with Pedroia moving down to the 2-hole and another youngster, Jacoby Ellsbury, being installed as the leadoff hitter.3 Provided that Ellsbury’s not included in a blockbuster trade this off-season (the same can also be said for Clay Buchholz — apparently, both the Twins and Marlins would be interested if the Red Sox looked to deal for Johan Santana or Miguel Cabrera, respectively), he would have to be considered one of the front-runners for the 2008 award.4 While I was in Tampa, a friend and I were discussing the possibility that we could be watching what could become the Sox 1-2 combination for the next 10 years. It was a very tantalizing possibility.

  1. Eric Van’s data goes covers from May 3rd to June 2nd. Using the publicly available play-by-play data, I was able to see that he didn’t play on the 2nd and swung the bat 5 times on the 1st, resulting in 2 foul balls, a line out, and 2 ground outs.
  2. How do you tell the difference between a player like Pedroia and an all around schmuck? Well, if you knee your trainer in the groin, you’re probably a schmuck.
  3. During the World Series, I was hoping Ellsbury would take home the MVP. Not that I have a problem with Mike Lowell winning the award, but I thought it would’ve been pretty cool to see somebody win World Series MVP before being eligible to win the ROY award.
  4. Back-to-back ROY award winners would be impressive, but it wouldn’t come close to the Dodgers run in the early 90s — Dodgers’ rookies claimed the award 5 years running, from 1992-96.

links for 2007-11-02

Nov 02, 2007 in Links

Last One to the Party

Oct 25, 2007 in Mac

Glenn Fleishman

…but they added back folder sharing, a feature never seen in Mac OS X, even though it was widely used in Mac OS X 9 [sic] and releases before that.

Combined with Data Detectors, it looks like we’ve got new leaders in the clubhouse for the coveted title of “Last Classic Mac OS Feature to Migrate.”

Anybody think of any remaining features which might make the jump in the future?